Welcome back, EveryWookiee to another DrunkWooky comic review! Today, I’m taking a look at Amazing Spider-Man 58 (2021) which releases in local comic shops and online retailers today, January 27, 2021! Check out the official solicit below followed by my review below that!
BEWARE, dear readers, spoilers abound ahead!
NEGATIVE SPACE, PART ONE
One era of Nick Spencer’s run comes to a shocking end this issue… But the seeds that he’s planted along the way for the next start to bloom. Don’t miss this pivotal issue!
PAGE COUNT 28 pages
The official solicit of this book promises that it will be a “pivotal” issue in Nick Spencer’s run. While it’s a good read, don’t get your hopes up that whatever Spencer is pivoting towards will be in this issue. As with the past 57 issues in this run, Spencer has shown he knows how to build towards something, but not how to resolve that conflict and show what has been built to.
We open on beautifully intricate art from Marcelo Ferreira, as inked by Wayne Faucher and colored by Morry Hollowell. Spidey is in a knock-down drag out fisticuffs bout with Mr. Negative’s vessels. This is the action we’ve been looking for. This is the intensity that Spidey can bring to a conflict and the scene is illustrated with all that our favorite webhead can bring to the table! But, then we flash back.
I have to admit, I have a sour taste in my mouth from the Kindred story line. It began with glimpses of Kindred as early as issue #1 of Spencer’s run, began in earnest around issue #44 with Sins Rising and was meant to resolve with issue #55. At least that’s what we were lead to believe. I looked forward to that, because the long-hyped Sins Rising and Last Remains storylines deflated into little more than a parade of old Spidey characters in painfully drawn out introspection with issue after issue of interminable dialogue. Kindred was revealed to simply be Harry Osborn. He was mad about some disrespect paid to him by Peter back in the day. How Harry was resurrected, gained his powers, or what that disrespect was, were questions that were never answered. There is something to be said about the long build and eventual pay off, but 55 issues is long enough. Now, if the solicit fr issue #58 is to be believed, we are moving on. Except, we’re not. While the issue opens with a battle with Mr. Negative’s vessels, it quickly flashes back to some melodrama with Pete explaining Harry’s evil transgressions to his wife, Liz.
Meanwhile, Mr. Li visits Aunt May at the shelter, while Mr. Negative’s vessels look on menacingly from a rooftop. Then a flashback to Kingpin meeting Kindred in a french catacomb. I hoped for some origin. I hoped for some color to animate Kindred as a villain, but nothing.
Finally, we see the connection between Kingpin and Mr. Negative’s vessels. They’ve come to make him and offer and I’m going to go out on a limb and say it has something to do with Fisk’s deceased wife. At the end of the day, we’re still dealing with disembodied “Sins” from the Sin Eater storyline. Kindred has been shuffled off the board into some form of stasis, but is still present on at least 20% of the pages, and any action in this issue is relegated to the fringes. I would love to be able to tell you that there’s an all out brawl between the vessels and Spidey in the shelter, depicted in vivid color, but it just isn’t hear. This is more talking with Spidey action as a mere afterthought and window-dressing. The same chess pieces are still here, they’ve just been shuffled around the board. I’m sorry. I love Spider-Man and I want Spider-Man to be riveting. That’s why I’m critical. If you’re a fan, you want the things you love to thrive, so you care when they aren’t.
Amazing Spider-Man #58 is available now.